Netherlands: Nativity Scene at the Basilica of Saint Servaas, Maastricht
The Bergportaal, a portal in Gothic style, was added to the south side of Sint Servaas Basilica in the first half of the 13th century and was the first Gothic construction in the Netherlands. It contains numerous Biblical statuary and a fine mosaic floor which is now holding a Christmas nativity scene.
The 'Bergportaal' on the south side of the Church was built between 1225 and 1250. It is called 'Berg...
The Roman catholic Basilica of Saint Servaas, situated in Maastricht (The Netherlands) at the Vrijtho...
Maastricht gezien vanaf het noord-oost uitkijk platform van de st.Jan toren aan het Vrijthof.
Maastricht gezien vanaf het zuid west uitkijk platform van de st.Jan toren aan het Vrijthof.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.